The Ashes: A Struggling James Anderson Receives Backing From One-Time Rival Ricky Ponting

The veteran seamer has struggled with the ball in both matches, at Edgbaston and Lord's, claiming just two wickets in three innings.

Anderson has an average of 81 for his bowling performance spanning across 3 innings.

James Anderson has looked far from his best form in the ongoing Ashes series, feels former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. (More Cricket News)

The 40-year-old Anderson has taken just two wickets in the three innings across two Test matches, averaging 81.00 for his efforts.

After the end of the first Test at Edgbaston, which England lost by 2 wickets, Anderson called the pitch his 'kryptonite', adding that he's done if the tracks in the remaining matches play out the same way.

"There was not much swing, no reverse swing, no seam movement, no bounce and no pace. I've tried over the years to hone my skills so I can bowl in any conditions, but everything I tried made no difference. I felt like I was fighting an uphill battle," Anderson had written in his column for 'The Telegraph'."

Even in first innings of the 2nd Test at Lord's, the seamer managed to pick just one wicket in the 20 overs that he bowled. It is noteworthy that he briefly held the No. 1 in the ICC Test bowler's rankings recently before being dethroned by Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.

Ponting, who has had his fair share of ups and downs in his long career, showed sympathy towards his one-time adversary, calling him a 'champion'.

While speaking on the latest edition of the ICC Review, Ponting said, "You never write off champions. That's one thing I know about the game. James Anderson has been a champion of the game and will continue to be until he wants to pull up stumps. Skill wise, it still looks like it's all there. But I think he, within himself, feels like he's probably not quite at his best right now."

Ahead of the Ashes series, Anderson sustained a niggle during the County Championship, which ruled him out of contention for the one-off Test series against Ireland. Josh Tongue, who was named his replacement, picked up five wickets in the second innings of his debut match.

England are currently trailing 0-1 in the 5-match series. A win at Lord's is a must for the home side if they are to go the distance against a dominant Australian side, and do that while hoping that Anderson finds back his rhythm.